Sears Canada announced it will be closing their store at Bower Place in Red Deer. (Photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)

Sears Canada looks to suspend benefits for retirees

Amid restructuring, the company cites cash restraints for sought suspension

Sears Canada is seeking court approval to suspend certain monthly payments to its retirement plan, post-retirement health plan and life insurance premiums.

In an announcement Thursday, the company said it filed the motion with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice – about two weeks after being approved for creditor protection as it undergoes a company restructuring.

RELATED: Sears Canada closing 59 of its stores across Canada

Sears said it is looking to suspend the payments due to ongoing cash constraints. The company secured $450 million from creditors, but the agreed upon budget does not include the three retirement packages, which add to a total of more than $4.5 million per month.

The restructuring hasn’t affected monthly pension payments to the retirement plan’s beneficiaries. Sears recently said it would not be able to provide severance packages for the 2,900 employees laid off.

The retailer will be in court on July 13, asking to extend court protection from creditors to Oct. 4, and seeking approval to start soliciting investors who might be interested in buying or investing in the Sears Canada Group.

With files from The Canadian Press.


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